Midsummer / Juhannus

When: On the Saturday between June 20 and June 26, and the preceding Friday.

(June 22 and June 22 in 2018)

What: Midsummer is a celebration of summer and sunlight. The Lutheran Church celebrates the holiday as St. John’s Day, but the roots of the celebration lie deep in the pagan culture. Birch trees and flowers are used for decorations and the Finnish flag is flown through the night. Midsummer is typically spent with friends and family at a summer cottage away from the city, making even the largest cities seem like ghost towns. Cottages are often by the water and usually have a traditional wood stove sauna. In addition to bathing in the sauna, popular Midsummer activities include lighting bonfires (kokko) and going to traditional Midsummer dances (juhannustanssit). Raising maypoles (more often called midsummer poles in the Nordic countries, juhannussalko in Finnish) is also common in the Swedish-speaking parts of Finland, especially in the Archipelago Sea region.

Although most people go to cottages, there are alternative ways to spend Midsummer. All major cities will have events for those who decide to stay and even smaller towns may organize public bonfires or dances. In Helsinki, the Seurasaari Midsummer Bonfires bring the traditional festivities to the city with folk music, maypole dances, and bonfires. The riverboats in Turku throw Midsummer parties, while other towns organize large-scale music festivals. 

If you’d like to celebrate the Finnish Midsummer, ask your friends and colleagues about local festivities, or visit your local tourism office or their website for more information.

Opening hours and public transport:

June 22: Public service offices, banks, post offices, and Alko liquor stores will close early. Most shops will also close early. Public transport may operate a reduced service.

June 23: Public service offices, banks, post offices, and Alko liquor stores will be closed. Some grocery stores and other shops may be closed and some may have shorter opening hours. Public transport may operate a reduced Sunday service.

 

Read more about Midsummer and summer in Finland:

http://finland.fi/life-society/enjoying-midsummer-the-finnish-way/

http://finland.fi/life-society/the-miracle-of-summer-makes-winter-a-distant-memory/

http://www.visitfinland.com/article/midsummer-go-peaceful-or-go-party/

Seurasaari Midsummer Bonfires: http://www.seurasaarisaatio.fi/midsummer-bonfires/